Kevin Staunton
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Kevin Staunton
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Kevin Staunton
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Kevin Staunton
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Kevin Staunton
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Grateful Dead tribute band Joe Russo’s Almost Dead made a stop in Denver Thursday night. It was probably the hottest ticket around and the all-star Grateful Dead tribute did not disappoint the sold-out crowd. The atmosphere outside the venue was electric, with a lot of fingers in the air looking for tickets. There’s an energy that surrounds JRAD, and even though there isn’t a single original Dead member in the band, it felt like a Dead show.

But if you missed out, you will be afforded a chance to see Joe & Co. very soon. JRAD will be returning to Colorado in the spring, and at Red Rocks to boot. The band will first stop back at the Ogden Theatre on April 28 before heading over to Red Rocks for thier first headline with jazz-funk fusion trio Medeski, Martin and Wood. You can find Ogden/Red Rocks bundled tickets here or check out this link for individual red Rocks tickets.

The boys got things kicked off with a toe tappin’ version of Henry Thomas’s “Don’t Ease Me In,” a favorite tune of the Dead. The band then segued into an extremely groovy “Viola Lee Blues” that featured some expert playing by keyboardist Marco Benevento, who was really on fire the whole night. Things got a little spacey before launching into a rollicking “Truckin,” which contained a “St. Stephen” tease. The band then eased into a crowd pleasing “Loser" that featured some great playing and singing from guitarists Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton. JRAD closed out the first set with funky, high-energy “Shakedown Street.” It was a solid first set leaving everyone excited for what was to come.

JRAD came out firing with the 60s hippie anthem “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)” before jumping into “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” which included a stellar jam. But perhaps the highlight of the evening was the entire “Terrapin” suite, which the band pulled off flawlessly. “Terrapin” gave drummer Joe Russo a chance to really shine; he’s so good. Joe has the controlled chaos and flailing energy of Keith Moon but with the power, timing and finesse of John Bonham. We then got another treat in “King Solomon’s Marbles,” a song rarely played by the Grateful Dead. JRAD brought things down a bit for “Row Jimmy” before ramping back up with “Good Lovin.” JRAD covered just a little more ground with “The Wheel” to close out the night.

It was a great show and the guys really seemed to be having a blast right along with the audience. Be sure to check out our photo gallery above captured by Kevin Stanton and if you get a chance to see these guys live you’ll see why they are the premier Grateful Dead tribute band.

JRAD has just announced another show at the Ogden on April 28 as well as a show at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre on April 29. Bundle tickets are available here while you can find individual Red Rocks tickets by clicking here.

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